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     Raipur, January 23, 2012: Chhattisgarh Government today formally agreed to separate Panchayat Raj from Social Welfare Department and make that a separate entity.

     Currently Panchayat and Social Welfare Directorate are functioning jointly and the Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh today agreed in a meeting to a proposal to separate both the bodies, officials said here.

     Singh has also directed Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Principal Secretary Vivek Dhand to prepare proposal for a new set up for the Panchayat Directorate.

      Departmental Minister Ram Vichar Netam and Social Welfare Secretary Subrat Sahoo were also present in that meeting.

     About Rs 1500 crore worth of projects are being executed or monitored by the Panchayat Department every year, when it had 1.5 lakh panchayat officials.

     The Directorate was looking into the activities of 18 Zilla Panchayats, 146 Janpad Panchayats, 9734 Gram Panchayats in the state, they said while advocating for a separate directorate for Panchayat.

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